Competition weekly news summary
Friday, July 8, 2011

Antitrust

  • Commission welcomes new decrease in problematic pharma patent settlements in the EU
    6 July 2011
    The Commission's second monitoring exercise of patent settlements in the pharmaceutical sector shows a continuing decline of settlements potentially problematic under EU antitrust rules. This highlights an increased industry awareness of which types of settlements can give rise to antitrust scrutiny. This is good news for consumers who will benefit from cheaper pharmaceuticals.
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  • Commission sends Statement of Objections to suspected participants in power cables cartel
    6 July 2011
    The Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to 12 companies because it has concerns that they may have colluded to allocate markets and customers for underground and submarine power cable projects and fix prices in the EEA.
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  • Commission welcomes improved market entry for lung disease treatments
    6 July 2011
    The Commission has closed an antitrust investigation into allegations by Spanish pharmaceutical company Almirall that the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim had filed for unmeritous patents regarding new treatments of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Commission's investigation concerned the alleged misuse of the patent system in order to exclude potential competition in the area of COPD, in breach of EU antitrust rules. As Boehringer agreed to remove the alleged blocking positions, this lifts the obstacles to the launch of Almirall's products and the Commission no longer needs to pursue the case.
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  • Commission repeals Heat Stabilisers cartel decision for Ciba/BASF and Elementis after EU Court judgment
    4 July 2011
    The Commission has repealed a decision of 11 November 2009 finding a cartel in the market for heat stabilisers in so far as it concerns the companies Ciba/BASF and Elementis. A judgment of the Court of Justice of 29 March 2011 in an unrelated case clarified the legal rules as to limitation periods for the imposition of fines by the Commission under Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty. As a result, it was clear that the Commission decision of 2009 was incorrect in that the limitation period on these two companies had expired.
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Mergers

  • Commission clears acquisition of Rio Tinto's talc business by Imerys
    8 July 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the talc business of the Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto by French-based Imerys. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly alter the structure of the market for talc, a mineral used in industrial applications including ceramics, plastics, paper and cosmetics.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of Janssen Animal Health by pharmaceutical group Eli Lilly
    7 July 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Janssen Animal Health by Eli Lilly. The Commission's investigation showed that whilst the combined market shares of the merging parties would be relatively high in certain areas, customers would continue to benefit from a sufficient choice of suppliers. Moreover, the transaction only marginally increases Eli Lilly's market shares.
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  • Commission approves acquisition of CEPSA by International Petroleum Investment Company
    5 July 2011
    The Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of a controlling stake in Compañía Española de Petróleos, an integrated energy company, by International Petroleum Investment Company of Abu Dhabi. The Commission concluded that the merged entity would face effective competitors and that the transaction would have no effect on the merged entities' incentives to coordinate their behaviour.
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Published by the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the above information.

© European Union, 2011. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

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